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Monday, 23 March 2020

Easy Cactus Cupcakes

Vegan.

As it was Mother's Day yesterday, I wanted to make something very special for my Mum.

She loves gardening and flowers so I made her these gorgeous cactus cupcakes which are all edible (no spikes in these cakes)- haha!

Chocolate sponge cupcakes with cookie 'sand' cake pop balls, and buttercream cacti.

So easy to make and very effective! Perfect for any event! 

Preparation- 40 minutes
Baking time- 18-20 minutes
Makes- Around 10
Level- Easy

...
Ingredients for the cake
-240ml of dairy-free milk
-1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
-210g of self-raising flour
-2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
-100g of golden caster sugar
-1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
-60g of coconut oil (melted)

Ingredients for the buttercream
-120g of dairy-free butter 
-250g of icing sugar
-1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
-Dark and light green food colouring
-Pink food colouring
-1 teaspoon of dairy-free milk (if needed)

Extras

-50g of plain cookies
...

To make the cupcakes
Step 1- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees c and line a cupcake tin with cupcake cases.

Step 2- In a small bowl, combine the dairy-free milk with the apple cider vinegar and whisk until fully combined.
Set aside for 10 minutes to curdle. This creates a vegan 'buttermilk'.

Step 3- In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
Mix well to combine.

Step 4- Add the melted coconut oil to the 'buttermilk' and whisk to combine.

Step 5- Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until a smooth batter.

Step 6- On top of the cookie base, fill the cupcake cases 3/4 full with the batter.
Make sure to tap the tins on the worktop to remove any air bubbles.

Step 7- Pop the cakes into the preheated oven and bake for 18-20 minutes.
You will know they are done when you put a knife or skewer in and it comes out clean and they are springy to the touch.

Step 8- Place the cupcakes on a cooling rack and allow to cool fully. 
Once cool, pop them into a sealed container to keep them fresh before frosting/decorating.

To make the frosting
Step 1- Cream the butter in a bowl, on high speed until creamy. I use a stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment.

Step 2- When the butter is light in colour, add in the icing sugar and vanilla extract.
Add a splash of dairy-free milk if too thick.

Step 3- Split the buttercream into four bowls. 


Step 4- To one bowl add a drop of pink colouring, the second add a drop of light green, the third add dark green and leave the final bowl of buttercream plain white.


Step 5- Add the white buttercream into a piping bag and pipe a rough swirl of buttercream.


Step 6- Whizz up some cookies until crumb-like and press the cookie crumbs onto the buttercream.

This creates the base for the cacti.

Step 7- Add the light and dark buttercreams into piping bags fitted with small and large open star tip nozzles and pipe your cactus designs.


Step 8- Add white buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a small round tip nozzle and add the sprinkles onto each cupcake. 

* Click here to watch my cupcake decorating tutorial *

To create the taller cacti, I crumbled up a cupcake and mixed it with buttercream to make cake pops, then moulded them into balls and added them onto the cupcakes before decorating with the buttercream.

Serve these cupcakes fresh or store in a sealed container in or out of the fridge, the buttercream will firm up at room temperature. 

Best to add the honeycomb when you're about to serve the cakes as it can have a habit of melting.

Best eaten within a few days.


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